When I consider the absolute independency of God and the necessary total dependence of all created things on Him, their first cause, I cannot help standing astonished at the pride of impotent, degenerate man. He is so prone to consider himself as a being possessed of sovereign freedom and invested with a power of self-salvation, able, he imagines, to counteract the designs even of infinite wisdom and to defeat the agency of Omnipotence itself. "Ye shall be as gods," said the tempter to Eve; and "ye are as gods" says the same tempter to her apostate sons. One would be apt to think that a suggestion so obviously false and flattering, a suggestion the very opposite of what we feel to be our state, a suggestion contrary to both Scripture and reason, to fact and experience, could never meet with the smallest degree of credit. And yet, because it so exactly coincides with the natural haughtiness of the human heart, men not only admit, but even relish the deception and are fondly inclined to believe that the father of lies does, in this instance at least, speak truth. The Scripture doctrine of predetermination lays the axe to the very root of this delusion. It assures us that all things are of God; that all our times and all events are in His hand.
A FOOL, A BOASTER AND A WISE MAN
A fool announces the good work he intends to do. A boaster makes sure others are aware of the good work he has done. A wise man does the good work and seeks no recognition. "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly" (Matthew 6:1-4).
--- Pastor Jim Byrd
THE BLOOD THAT CLEANSES
There is no doubt that the blood of Jesus was real blood. It was the actual blood of a real man. Yet it was more than just the blood of a man... it was the blood of God. It was the blood of God because He is the GodMan. Thus, when it says in scripture that "the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanses us from all sin," it is not speaking of His literal blood being applied to us. If the blood of Christ spattered on the soldier that nailed Him to the cross it did not cleanse him from his sins. Likewise if His blood dripped from His pierced side it did not cleanse any it might have fallen upon. No, this term, "the blood of Jesus," refers to the life He laid down and the death that He died. "The life is in the blood.." God said. His death was not simply the death of a man but rather the death of THE Man! It was the death of a Representative Man and "the death of the cross." God looked to Christ alone for all that was necessary to honor His law, satisfy every claim of His strict justice and save all His elect from their sins. The substitutionary death of Christ did just that. Christ's death "cleansed" or "purged" our sins from the books of heaven by completely paying the ransom price and accomplishing the eternal redemption of all He represented. Thus we read that by His own blood He entered into the holy place once and obtained eternal redemption for us. His success in this work was demonstrated when He “sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.” Furthermore, the stain of our sins being blotted out in the court of heaven is the ground upon which they are cleansed in the court of our conscience. We experience this when the truth of the gospel is revealed to and realized in the sinner's conscience through the Spirit giving us faith to believe the record of God. This cleansing is a continual cleansing because we were cleansed, made righteous through the death of our Substitute. In Christ and by Christ we are "clean" and being cleaned! Our consciences in the matter of our sins are "purified" with every fresh hearing and believing of the gospel of the crucified Christ. Oh that precious fountain opened for sin! "There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel's veins... and sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose ALL their guilty stains!" Let men mock the preaching of the cross, of salvation through the blood of Christ; but let us listen to God and look to Him who “made peace through the blood of His cross.”